Halifax Has Heart

In Halifax, the Portraits of Honour and Kin Canada had the privilege of partnering with True Patriot Love, another organization that has been working diligently to raise much needed funds for our veterans and their families, when we participated in their highly anticipated Maple Leaf Dinner.

The gala dinner, which attracted nearly 900 guests, was held at the Cunard Center in downtown Halifax, and allowed VIP guests the rare privilege of boarding a Canadian Navy frigate which was anchored at an adjacent dock.

The Portraits of Honour were displayed just inside the center and as guests arrived from both the VIP reception on the frigate and from the general ticket holders entrance, they were moved by the sight of the faces of the 157 fallen Canadian Forces heroes that gave their lives in Afghanistan.

Throughout the dinner other artists also displayed their tributes to our service people, our veterans and our fallen with many of their pieces being auctioned off to raise funds. Local businesses and national corporations provided sponsorship, while citizens of the community bid on auction items and made donations.

All in attendance gave of their time, talents or resources to support a meaningful cause.

This idea of looking beyond oneself and giving of oneself for the betterment of others was revisited the following day when the Portraits of Honour set up at the Rock Church in nearby Lower Sackville. After 157 people, some members of the congregation, some family of the fallen, some fellow military members, paraded the individual portraits of the 157 soldiers, sailors and aircrew to the church stage, the Pastor began to speak about the motivation that had inspired these fallen heroes to choose such a potentially hazardous path.

He described how in speaking with the families of the fallen, he had often heard that before these young men and women deployed on their mission to Afghanistan, they often spoke of doing something greater than themselves, of leaving a lasting positive mark on the world. These were young people who saw beyond themselves, their communities and even their country and wanted to give of themselves to make a change.

While these brave young troops gave absolutely everything for a cause greater than themselves, far more than most of us have the courage to do, those who participated at the True Patriot Love Dinner, those who come out in communities across the country to support the Portraits of Honour, those who will participate in Remembrance day celebrations, and those who simply support our troops through their many generous actions are also helping to support this greater cause as well.